Monday, December 30, 2013

Bonne année ~

~ It's time to celebrate! ~
Wishing you a very Happy New Year
May the new year be filled with peace, happiness, and joy, for each and every one of you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas ~

The house is decorated; the cards have been sent; the gifts are all wrapped and the baking is done. The preparations for the Christmas Eve dinner are almost complete. So there is little else for me to do but to wish you all a very
Merry Christmas!
Entry hall tree
I hope that your holiday is filled with joy, love, and happiness.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Mantle ~ 2013

Every year I try to do something a bit different to decorate the mantle ~ this is how it turned out this year:
 I started out with a basic green garland and kept adding lots of other things: pink ornaments, flowers, pine cones, ribbon, bejeweled fruit, and a wonderful sparkly garland that looks like bits of alone can make anything lovely. My daughter made the little bird ornament ~ so cute!

Silk roses, wired ribbon and twinkle lights.

Completely over-the-top, but I love it. And now for the best decorative ornament of all...

Miss Twiggley! 

 Sitting up on the mantle under the little Christmas trees, supervising the work and being very, very well behaved!
Joyeux Noël

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kitchen Wreath ~

The little crab apple trees are almost completely devoid of leaves, but there is a lot of fruit for the birds to feast on through the winter months.
As for me, this time of year, and any time of year for that matter, I use the branches as a framework to make wreaths.

The branches are very pliable and easy to shape. 

A simple twisting and weaving and Voila! A Christmas wreath for the hood over the stove in my kitchen ~ 

I added a dried moss garland and some little apples. So simple, just the natural look that I wanted.

As I sit here writing this I am listening to a new Christmas Cd with a nice mix of music: The Piano Guys; A Family Christmas. A lovely addition to the festivities.
I hope that all of your holiday plans are progressing well ~ this is such a happy time of year.
joyeux Noël
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tweaking for Christmas ~

This little tiered stand is very versatile, I change it out whenever the mood strikes, I think that I got it at Bombay Company and it is really meant to be a tea stand. It's size allows it to sit on the floor or on a table or counter. Right now it is sitting in a corner of the kitchen holding some white, covered dishes. So...wasn't it natural to tweak it a bit for Christmas...
 I added a few bits of greenery, in this case lavender, some apples, a couple red ornaments and voilà!

So much impact for such simple additions; I love when this happens.

After the holidays I might change out the china pieces in place of pots of herbs, (or maybe those copper pots I think Santa is bringing me) but for right now I am loving how it adds to making the kitchen more festive for Christmas.
Thank you for visiting.
Joyeux Noël

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Le petit train de Noël ~

Last year I made this Christmas wreath for the big window in media-family room. I really like it and I think it is very pretty but the room said, "More".  So...

I went down into the basement and unpacked this little holiday train I bought many years ago from Bombay Company, filled it with gifts, and sent it on it's way with happy thoughts and Christmas greetings to you!

All aboard, off we go to a wonderful and joyous holiday season

I hope that you are having as much fun with your Christmas preparations as I am.
Thank you for visiting
Joyeux Noël

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A lovely little surprise ~

Last summer I redesigned the border under my deck, reducing the planting area and expanding the adjacent gravel area. I thought that I had removed all of the plants but this group of Paperwhites somehow got overlooked. At first I wasn't sure exactly what they were, but here they are a lovely little surprise, surrounded by gravel with absolutely no care, blooming right outside my back door  just in time for the holiday.
I have never tried to force Paperwhites because they bloom so readily in the garden this time of year and I have quite a few planted in various places, but it would be nice to have potted ones in the house, so next year they will be a first on my list and now I must start collecting interesting containers to put them in...that should be fun!
Thank you for visiting.
Joyeux Noël

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Un petit-déjeuner d'inspiration ~

This morning while eating breakfast and planning my day I was leafing through last years Christmas issue of Jeanne d' Arc and found a very pretty way to put together a Christmas cloche for the kitchen island ~ and the best part, I had everything to do it with!
I brought this cloche in from the garden, washed it off, and added some apples, the silver trays my brother gave me last week were already sitting on the island, I think they add a touch of elegance.
A fast and easy way to add holiday cheer to the kitchen...and I didn't use one bit of glitter... not that I won't later.
~ Joyeux Noël ~

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving ~

May your day be filled with, gratitude, happiness, joy of family and friends, and good food.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A bit of this and that ~

I thought I would take a little time away from Thanksgiving preparations to share a few fun things.
Now that the cooler weather has arrived I have been experiencing a little 'boot mania'. I knew that I wanted a new pair of boots this year and if possible a pair of booties. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how the budget thinks of it I found both. I mean really, could you turn these down? And they were on my master shopping list. I was a little skeptical about the booties but with the addition of leggings I really like the way they look with short dresses and skirts and they are so comfortable.

Now.... onto something different. I reserved both of these books from my local library. Lately there seems to be a plethora of wonderful books written about all things far I have enjoyed  every one, it's just so much fun learning about a culture that derives so much pleasure from the ascetics, beauty, and enjoyment of the everyday; so très charmant et chic. So here are two more to add to the list ~ they are both excellent, fun, reads full of good information and interesting ideas.

I don't know how many of you are looking for the perfect mascara but I have found mine:  'They're Real' by Benefit. Perhaps it is the shape of the brush which allow you to reach every little lash, or maybe the formula, whichever, it does an amazing transformation on stubby, thin lashes...they really do appear almost unreal and who doesn't want luxurious eyelashes. I purchased mine at Sephora and as a bonus the full size tube came with a small tube, perfect to keep in your purse or for travel.

Lastly, I leave you with a picture of my pink camellias which apparently don't realize it is fall and have already started blooming. Their delicate fragility is so lovely and unexpected amongst the more intense colors of the season. These are very old bushes and I forget about them through the year, then they surprise me with their beauty.

Nothing about the up-coming holiday here but I hope your plans are going well for a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Thank you for visiting, I hope you will come back again soon. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The perfect spot ~

I knew when I saw this glittery turkey at Home Goods late last summer that he would make a great addition to my Thanksgiving decorations ~ I just didn't know exactly where I would put him but into my cart he went, I would think about the details later...
 I found a holiday home for him in the media/library room, I think he looks perfect here under the window and since I spend a lot of time in this room he never gets lonely. What do you think, doesn't he add to the Thanksgiving festivities?

When I was teaching we had a poem of the month, this was the one for November:
Turkey, Turkey
Turkey, turkey look at you,
please be careful what you do,
Thanksgiving day is almost here,
we eat turkey every year.
Run and hide out in the woods,
we'll eat pizza as we should!

I think this turkey would agree, meanwhile he sends you a
Gobble, gobble which in turkey speak means:
~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

 Thank you for visiting, I hope your holiday plans are going well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Le monde de Miss Twiggley ~

As most of us know cats, unlike dogs pretty much do what they want. Maybe there are some people who have altered their cats behaviors but alas, I have always been at the mercy of mine. I really don't mind if Miss Twiggley wants to sleep on the mantle and so far she has been very adept at negotiating the crystal candlesticks, but until she looses interest in this spot they have been moved.
It really is the world of Miss Twiggley here at Rose Arbors and I have a sneaking suspicion that she knows it!
Thank you for visiting and have a happy day. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The flower of Autumn ~

Is there any other flower that says Autumn like Chrysanthemum's?
Just seeing one makes you think of cool, crisp weather, falling leaves, the change of seasons...Thanksgiving, and football games.

I am a relative new-comer to mums, just recently I have fallen under their spell. Up to now I just thought of them as something rather common and really not worth growing, but last year I attended the Chrysanthemum Show at the local arboretum and purchased some rooted cuttings. They were remarkably easy to grow, so beautiful and interesting and I see now how they could become very addictive.

I love the vibrant colors and the shapes. These are all relatively common sorts but lovely non-the-less. I love the way these opulent colors seem to blend together in the vase. Next spring I definitely will try some of the more exotic the spider and spoon shapes.

 I think that I have a whole new obsession.

for any of you that are interested in growing these wonderful flowers you might be interested in this article: Ten Favorite Mums Varieties for Cutting

How about you...have you fallen under the spell of something new.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beautiful November ~

November has arrived bringing so much beauty. The days have been glorious, a perfect time to be outside.  The weather is sumptuous, with beautiful blue skies and we even have a bit of fall color, not as dramatic as in cooler climates, but lovely non-the-less.
The stars of  the show are the Liquid Amber trees...
but the Crepe Myrtles are also showing off...
and the persimmon tree with its orange fruit is adding to the display.

 Even the Magnolias are looking lovely in their fall foliage. If you look closely you can see there are some Narcissi's in bloom, a bit freaky, but this is Southern California.

...and the Boston Ivy ~ the sign says Spring, but the colors say Fall.
 I hope that you too enjoying these perfect autumn days, such a good time to take a breath and enjoy nature's bounty before the holiday rush.

Thank you for visiting.